Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Of Films, Finales, and Farewells

I really need to spend some quality time putting together a longer “Bullet Points” post of news briefs. But for now, as I am in the midst of other projects, here are a few short items of interest.

• Lyndsay Faye’s brand-new book, Jane Steele, has been acquired by Chris Columbus’ 1492 Pictures with the intent of turning it into a big-screen picture. Deadline Hollywood explains: “Inspired by Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre, Faye’s novel is a piece of historical fiction that tells the story of Jane Steele, a fresh and determined Victorian orphan, who—unlike her idol Jane Eyre—does not accept her lot in life without a fight. Fiercely intelligent and resourceful, Steele is forced to resort to extreme measures to make sure that life turns out the way she needs it to. The reimagining of Jane Eyre as a serial killer is a humdinger of a potential lead role for a major actress. No word yet on who’s adapting this one, but the world surely is fertile for a mischievous mind.”

• Until today, I had no idea that Isaac Asimov’s 1954 science fiction/detective novel, The Caves of Steel, was adapted for British television more than 50 years ago. Elizabeth Foxwell features a few “tantalizing (if low-budget) clips” in her blog.

• A trio of mystery and suspense novels are among the winners of this year’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, given out by the Independent Book Publishers Association. Those works are: The Fame Equation, by Lisa Wysocky (Cool Titles); The Lost Concerto, by Helaine Mario (Oceanview); and Method 15/33, by Shannon Kirk (Oceanview).

• From B.V. Lawson’s In Reference to Murder comes this intriguing tidbit: “Writer-director Michael Mann has made a deal to launch Michael Mann Books. The imprint will generate a series of novels with a stable of writers, with the properties to simultaneously be developed for film and television. Mann will look through his own long list of credits for ideas, placing high priority on a prequel novel dealing with the principal characters of Heat, Mann’s seminal crime thriller. The prequel novel will cover the formative years of homicide detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro), Chris Shihirles (Val Kilmer), McCauley’s accomplice Nate (Jon Voight), and other characters from the 1995 film.”

• One more from In Reference to Murder:Amazon announced that Ripper Street will end after its fifth season, which recently began filming in Dublin. In the final season, Joseph Mawle (In the Heart of the Sea) rejoins the series as the feared Detective Inspector Jedediah Shine, intent on a mission of revenge after last being seen in the series two finale when Inspector Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) plotted with Drake (Jerome Flynn) to take Shine’s life.”

• New Zealand crime-fiction watcher Craig Sisterson notes on Facebook that Ngaio Marsh Award-winning Wellington author Neil Cross was recently nominated for a BAFTA (British Academy Television Craft Awards) commendation in the TV drama-writing category, thanks to his work on the acclaimed series Luther. Unfortunately, Cross’ competition in that category includes Peter Straughan, who scripted the historical miniseries Wolf Hall.

• In a Guardian story about the pseudonymous novelist Elena Ferrante (My Brilliant Friend, etc.), John Dugdale mentions “the semi-reclusive crime writer Josephine Tey [The Daughter of Time], who was only linked to her birth name (Elizabeth Mackintosh) posthumously. Friends who attended her funeral in 1952 thought they were mourning Gordon Daviot, another of her pseudonyms, and that was who the Times recorded as having been buried.” I’d never heard that before.

• Neither of these films has anything to do with crime fiction, but they still look like fun: Special Correspondents, a Netflix pic starring Ricky Gervais and Eric Bana, slated to begin streaming on April 29; and Love & Friendship, a big-screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s 1871 epistolary novel, Lady Susan, that stars the ever-captivating Kate Beckinsale and is set to debut in the States on May 13.

• Finally, a sad good-bye to Joe Santos, the Brooklyn-born actor whose most memorable TV role may have been that of beleaguered Los Angeles cop Dennis Becker in The Rockford Files. Small-screen watchers might also have spotted Santos in Barnaby Jones, The Streets of San Francisco, Lou Grant, Hill Street Blues, Magnum, P.I., and The Sopranos. (A full list of his performance credits is here.) Santos died of a heart attack on March 18. He was 84 years old.

No comments: